Feb 18 2016
You might know Khary Randolph from Tech Jacket, We Are Robin and numerous covers. Recently Randolph is one of the many creative minds behind the BLACKKickstarter, which is approaching $70k with the original goal of $65K. Congrats to Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph and Sarah Litt. Postal comic writer, Bryan Edward Hill, sat down with Khary Randolph to discuss Black, creators of color and much more.
Bryan Edward Hill: Let’s back it up to the prequels. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be a professional illustrator and comic artist?
Khary Randolph: Man, we starting this with the #0 issue, haha. No doubt. Well, I was one of those kids who always drew but never took it all that seriously at first. For a long time I wanted to go into science, specifically marine biology. Eventually I realized that I wasn’t good at science and I’m a terrible swimmer, so drawing for a living was my plan B. In my junior year of high school I went on a black college tour and loved it, but soon realized that if making art was something I was really going to pursue, I might as well just go to an art school. So me and my homeboy Wes decided we’d make that the plan, got accepted to the School of Visual Arts, moved to NYC and it’s been on ever since. I’ve been working professionally since 2000, and in comics (off and on) since about 2003.
BEH: The BLACK Kickstarter has a lot of momentum. It seems that touched a nerve for a lot of people. Why did you want to get involved?
KR: It was a good opportunity to do something different for one, and I also had faith in the vision and in my collaborators. I tend to get a lot of offers to do independent books but I’ve already got plenty of work. For me to step outside of my comfort zone and take a chance on something new or different it has to really speak to me on a deeper level than “I’ve got this cool new character.” It has to mean something, and BLACK immediately stood out to me as a project that could resonate with people like no other project I’ve worked on could.
BEH: Many creators of color fear that if they seem “political” in any way, that will blacklist them from the industry they love. Do you think that’s a valid fear? (Feel free to not answer that if you don’t want to answer it, LOL)
KR: I think it’s a fear I’ve had, whether valid or not. I’ve spent my entire career keeping my politics to myself in the interest of staying “professional.” So yeah, scary stuff for sure. It’s a calculated risk but yes, it’s a risk. And at the end of the day, without risk what is the point of all this? You can’t spend your life wondering “what if?” If working on a book like this would blackmail me from getting future work then quite honestly I probably don’t belong in this industry anyways. I’m hear to tell interesting stories.
BEH: There are a lot of aspiring creators who look up to you. Can you take this time to give them some advice? If they need to learn one thing about how to get into this industry, what is that thing?
KR: My first bit of advice would be to not look up to me, cuz I’m making this up as I go along haha. But naw, for real you have to follow your instincts. Do what you have to do pay the bills but never forget why you are doing art in the first place. You’re hear to express yourself, to speak what you are and who you are through your creative medium, and make dope sh*t. Be yourself, stand for something and never let the job change what you are. It’s easy to look up to other artists and say “man, I wish I was that guy/girl”, but that person has already got that lane on lock. Do you and eventually you’ll figure out exactly what it is you do, and it’ll show through in the artwork. Have fun, life is too short.
BEH: Now let’s look towards the future. What are you working on and what do you hope to work on next?
KR: The first obvious answer is BLACK. We’re working to make it the best thing it can be for all the many amazing people that have supported thus far. We’ve made some big promises, and now we have to deliver on those promises. Otherwise, I’m working with Marvel right now on…..things. I can’t say anymore than that. And expect to see a LOT of covers and various pieces of art by me in the next few months from places like Marvel, DC, Archie, IDW, Lion Forge, etc.
Oh, and I’ve got a couple other pots on the stove too, but we’ll get to those when the time is right.
Head on over to the Black kickstarter and pledge today!